Last game of the regular season and the Union have a >99% chance of making the playoffs. The <1% chance the Union don’t make it, is if they lose their game against the New York Red Bulls and the New Revolution beats Montreal and there’s a goal differential swing of 12. A win for the Union along with a Montreal loss would move the Union up into 5th place in the East. But this does little good for the Union in the playoffs as they will still be force to play an away game in the knockout round. New York Red Bulls on the other had sit atop on the East and will get a first round bye no matter the result on Sunday.

The Union have faced the Red Bulls three times already, twice in the regular season and once in the US Open Cup. June 29 in the Open Cup was the first time these two teams met this year. Winning by a score of 2 to 1, the Union rallied to win after going down a goal thanks to two Pontius’ goals in the 2nd half of play. The regular season game had a similar feel to the first game. Red Bulls went up 2 goals in the first, only for Philly to tie it up after a Sapong’s pk goal and a Pontius’ goal in the 2nd half.  The last game between these two teams resulted in a 3-2 loss for the Union in a wild game that saw both team take the lead at some point. Fabian Herbers and Pontius’ provided the Union goals.

The Union’s winless streak continued last week, with a 2-0 loss to Orlando City SC. The first half of this game was a dull one.  Neither team could break down the other and create good chances on goal. Orlando finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute when Carlos Rivas got behind the Union defense and forced a one on one with Andre Blake. Blake was able to get an arm onto Rivas’ shot but a few Orlando bounces saw the ball going into the net even after Keegan Rosenberry very late attempt to clear the ball off the line failed. In the dying moments of the game, Orlando put the cherry on top with a goal from Julio Baptista to put Orlando up 2-0.

Unless something really crazy happens this weekend, the Union should be heading to the playoffs. The first round of playoff games are scheduled for Wednesday October 26th and Thursday October 27th.

 

Predictions and observations for this week’s game:

-Predicted Score line: 2-2 draw

-Predicted Union Lineup: Blake, Fabinho, Marquez, Edu, Rosenberry, Creavalle, Bedoya, Pontius, Alberg, Herbers, Davies.

-The Union are winless in their last 6 games.

-CJ Sapong is currently sitting on a 9 game scoreless drought.

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